WHEN you've titled the first book "The Best of Marj'' and the next one "The Anniversary Marj," what can you call the third Marj? That's it! "The Third Marj.' ,
Now you know what deep thought, what concentration goes into such tasks as choosing titles for collections of columns appearing since 1944 in The Dayton Journal Herald under the heading of "Third and Main."
The column itself was titled with the same kind of serious deliberation. The editors, putting together a Sunday tabloid section back in 1944, had an empty space and nothing to put in it. They looked around the newsroom. I hadn't yet learned the art of looking busy. "You," they said to me, measuring a piece of air between their hands, "write something about this long and make it funny."
It fit the space. It looked like a personal column. Personal columns have to have "heads." Everybody got in the act. Call it this, they said. Call it that. Al Clark, Dayton Herald sports editor, growled, "Call it 'Third and Main.' "
Why? "Because it's the center of town, the crossroads of the valley.
Because everything starts from that intersection, including street numbers. Because the column can be a kind of crossroads meeting place, a town pump, where people talk and tell stories. Because ... "
"It fits the space," said an editor. That settled it. Deliberation doesn't take long on deadline.
The columns in this third collection, as in the other two, were written on deadline. Though it is common to believe that columnists have a drawerful of extra columns for emergencies, it is nor true in my case. I'm a deadline writer. If I have two weeks, I'll dawdle until the sword of time is hanging by a thread over my head. Give me an immediate deadline and I'll make it-whether it's telephoning copy back to Dayton from the Cow Palace in San Francisco when the Republicans are in national convention, from Atlantic City when the Democrats are convening ... or running over cobbled streets in a foreign land to get to the postoffice in time to catch the mail plane to The States ... or getting copy from my fifth floor office to the fourth floor composing room.
Deadline for thanking co-workers who were around when these columns were first printed in a daily newspaper is NOW. And so I do - thank one and all, including Ed O'Neil, Journal Herald promotion director, who takes over when daily columns become book collections.
MARJ HEYDUCK Oct. 1, 1966
IT IS HARD to believe that Marj Heyduck has been writing her Third and Main column for 20 years.
There is a remarkable freshness, we think, about the flow of words and ideas and comments and fun that carries through her daily contributions to the Modern Living section. She might almost be setting out each morning on her first venture in talking with readers.
It is an enviable gift. And one which obviously is thoroughly enjoyed by women-and, yes, by men-the length of our valley. Indeed, Marj is perhaps the best known and, we should expect, the best liked woman for miles around.
In any event, a milestone like this just couldn't be allowed to pass unnoticed and unremarked upon. We have in the past teased her a bit and laughed with her on this page. But always with affection and shared good humor. Like so many others, we look back with pleasure over the long years of good reading she has given us and look ahead with anticipation to that which will come tumbling from her typewriter in years to come.
Editorial in The Dayton Journal Herald, Nov. 20, 1964
Glenn Thompson, Editor, Dayton Journal Herald
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